Pharmacy Error Leads to Elderly Woman’s Death

Earlier this month in Glendale, California, a 90-year-old woman died after she was given a dosage that was 10 times higher than that which was prescribed by her physician. According to a report by CBS Los Angeles, the woman was prescribed a generic version of diltiazem, a medication for atrial fibrillation—an arrhythmia of the heart—by her physician.

However, when she took the prescription to get filled at a local pharmacy, the pharmacist who filled the prescription didn’t fill it properly. Instead of taking 30 mg, four times a day, the pharmacist provided her with instructions to take 300 mg four times a day. This resulted in the elderly woman taking 10 times the prescribed dose of the medication.

After a couple days of taking the high dose, the woman became unresponsive. She was taken to the hospital where she stayed for two weeks before she died. It was the day after her 90th birthday. The cause of death was listed by the medical examiner as “diltiazem intoxication due to pharmacy error.”

The daughter of the deceased woman reported the error to the California Board of Pharmacy, which fined the owner of the pharmacy $1,000. As it turns out, the owner of the pharmacy was already under investigation for attempting to return counterfeit Cialis pills to the manufacturer to make a profit.

The California Board of Pharmacy explained to reporters that the meager $1,000 fine was based on the sole fact that an error was made, rather than on the outcome of the error. The counterfeit-pill case is scheduled to be resolved later this year.

Unprofessional and Unethical Pharmacists

Like any other profession, pharmacists run the gamut in terms of skill, dedication, and honesty. It appears from the article above that the pharmacy owner responsible for the fatal prescription error did not believe herself bound by the professional and ethical rules that govern the industry.

In these types of cases, when death or serious injury results from a pharmacy error, the patient (or family) who suffered as a result may be entitled to monetary compensation. To learn more about how you may be entitled to monetary compensation for a pharmacist’s error, contact a dedicated pharmacy error attorney today.

Are You in Need of a Personal Injury Attorney?

If you or a loved one has recently been seriously injured by taking a prescription medication that was provided to you in error, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries or loss. Each year, we see thousands of cases where innocent and unsuspecting patients are seriously injured by errors made by negligent pharmacists. At the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers, we know what it takes to bring a winning claim on behalf of our clients, and we are confident that we will be able to help you in yours. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free initial consultation with an attorney.

More Blog Posts:

New Zealand Man Dies Due to Pharmacist’s Error, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, September 3, 2014.

Pharmacist Overprescribes Blood-Thinner, Causing Man to Cough Up Blood, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, October 9, 2014.

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